Florida is one of the most expensive states for auto insurance. The high insurance rates stem from several factors, including a large number of senior residents, a lot of car accidents and the no-fault insurance system present in Florida. Another issue is the hurricane threat, which likely increases insurance rates across the board, whether for cars or property. However, cheap car insurance is still available. There are Florida auto insurance companies that provide good discounts as well as protection. Let's take a look at the best auto insurance companies in Florida.
All Things Considered Winner: Geico
As one of the top insurance companies in the country, Geico consistently gets high scores in nearly every possible category. It's third in Florida for customer service and is cheaper than the other two insurance companies that lead the customer service category. As car insurance companies go, it's also very financially stable. If you're looking for the best overall experience with auto insurance, then Geico is a great choice. If you want a more personal agent experience, then you should look elsewhere.
Second Best: Safeco
Safeco provides some of the best car insurance Florida residents can find with reasonable rates and good customer service. Safeco also has a meager NAIC ratio at 0.54, which is far below the average for car insurance companies. The lower the number, the fewer customers complain about them. Safeco also happens to be a great option for those looking for classic car insurance, and especially if they drive it often. The only caveat with Safeco is that its financial strength isn't as good as top competing insurance companies. The highest rating is A++, which Geico and State Farm both have, but Safeco's is A. If you want reasonable insurance rates, good customer service and quality classic car insurance, then Safeco is a good choice. If you want your insurance company to be more financially stable, then you should look elsewhere.
Best Military Insurance: USAA
USAA auto insurance offers excellent customer service, reasonable insurance rates, a good website and high financial stability. Essentially they could easily be the best car insurance Florida residents can get if it weren't for the fact that they only offer coverage to current and former US military members and their close family members. However, if you're eligible, this is hands down the best auto insurance in Florida.
Cheapest Insurance and Best for Sketchy Driving Records: Progressive
Progressive auto insurance hits the top in two categories as the cheapest and also the best for young drivers and those with troubled driving records. High school and college students would do well to check out both Progressive and Geico for attractive insurance rates. Progressive does well in all the other categories as well, and it has a super easy to navigate website. If you're looking for the cheapest rates or if you're a high-risk driver, then Progressive is a great choice. If you want better customer service or financial stability, then look elsewhere.
Customer Service Winner: MetLife
Excluding USAA, which only allows military members, then MetLife has the best customer service among Florida insurance companies. However, the trade is that the insurance rates are higher as well. For example, coverage for a driver in the early 20s age group can cost around $11,000 per year. Meanwhile, Geico charges under $4,000 for the same category per year. For more experienced drivers and those with excellent driving records, the difference between MetLife and other insurance company rates are not quite as stark, but it doesn't change the fact that they are known for higher rates. The one thing they have is a 50 percent discount for associated companies. If you're looking for the best customer service and have money to spend on higher rates, then MetLife could be your company. Look elsewhere if you need a cheap rate.
Best Auto Insurance and Cheapest Insurance Rates by Florida City
If you're looking for Florida car insurance in one of the big cities, then it's a good idea to check rates for each one as they can vary. For example, in Miami, the lowest prices for young drivers come from Geico, while in Jacksonville, Progressive has the most economical rates across the board.
Miami Car Insurance Rates
Miami is one of the most densely populated cities in the country, so it might be a little surprising that insurance rates aren't as high as they could be comparatively. Geico and Progressive offer the best rates for young drivers. Seniors and middle-aged drivers can also get the best deals from those two companies, but Safeco and Esurance also have reasonable rates for those categories in Miami.
Jacksonville Car Insurance Rates
Jacksonville is the largest and most populated city in Florida, but rates in the city are only about $7 over the average. Progressive again offers the cheapest rates, but Esurance and Geico aren't too far behind. Esurance is not as well-known as the other two, but it is a Liberty Mutual company with plenty of good qualities and rates.
Tampa Car Insurance Rates
Tampa has some of the highest insurance rates in Florida. Again, Progressive and Geico are the cheapest insurance companies here. Safeco, Allstate and Esurance tend to charge a lot more than they're worth in Tampa compared to their competitors.
Orlando Car Insurance Rates
Orlando is another expensive Florida city for car insurance. Only Progressive and Geico can offer decent rates across the board. The gap is relatively large too with the closest competitor Esurance being nearly $100 higher than Progressive for a monthly premium.
Fort Lauderdale Auto Insurance Rates
Fort Lauderdale sees a lot of tourist activity, and that may be part of why it's one of the most expensive cities in Florida for insurance quotes. It's nearly impossible to get an insurance policy for under $200 a month. Geico, Progressive and Esurance offer the lowest rates overall.
Minimum Coverage Limits in Florida
One good thing about buying car insurance in Florida is that it has the lowest insurance coverage limits in the country. The only two required coverages are personal injury protection and property damage liability coverage. Both coverages require a $10,000 limit. Optional insurance coverage includes uninsured/underinsured motorist, comprehensive and collision. However, if you have a financed vehicle, then your lender may require you to carry all these optional insurance coverages.
Recommended Car Insurance Coverage
Some recommended coverages for Florida car insurance includes $50,000 limits along with comprehensive due to the prevalence of natural disasters in Florida. Another good idea is to get uninsured motorist coverage as Florida has a very high percentage of uninsured drivers at nearly 30 percent as of 2015. Collision coverage is also not a bad idea since modern cars are quite expensive to replace or repair. Even though Florida is a no-fault state, the injured party can still sue you.
How to Get Discounts on Auto Insurance Quotes
One way to reduce the price of auto insurance coverage is through various discounts. The following are some possible discounts and how to get them.
You can get this discount if you haven't had a traffic violation or car accident for three to five years. Some companies will give you up to 30 percent off and the discount usually gets better the longer you go.
Car Safety Features
If your vehicle has certain safety features installed, you can reap the benefits. Some features like this include anti-theft, airbags and ABS. It's also possible to get a discount for driving a car that is known for being reliable and safe such as the Toyota Camry.
If you're a young driver still in high school or college, you can potentially get a good student discount through maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher while being enrolled full-time.
If you're a senior, you can get a five percent discount if you go through a motor vehicle accident prevention course that is approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Bundle Insurance Discount
Almost all insurance companies offer a discount for bundling multiple types of coverage with them. If you have multiple vehicles or also purchase home or renter's insurance from the same company, you can usually get a discount.
Statistically, it shows that people who own homes are less likely to have a car accident. If you own a home, you can probably get a discount on your car insurance.
If you're a safe driver who doesn't mind being monitored, then this can also get you a discount with companies who offer it. Allstate introduced this program first with Drivewise. Your driving will be monitored through a mobile app. However, it does require that you have a vehicle with modern technology.
How to Find Florida's Cheapest Car Insurance
There are a few tips you can use to find cheap car insurance in Florida. The first is always to compare more than one quote. Even if you find that one company is likely to give you the best rate, you should still compare multiple quotes. Several factors could change your rate quote, including your credit score, age, driving record and the type of vehicle. Another tip is to read reviews and look for the ones that apply the closest to your situation. Finally, check what discounts each company offers. If you already have good car insurance, it still doesn't hurt to shop around for better rates occasionally.
Who Pays the Least Car Insurance in Florida?
As previously mentioned, USAA has the best rates overall in Florida, but they only offer insurance to military members. Thus, military members pay among the lowest rates in Florida. The other demographic that is generally charged less is people around the age of 60. Outside of USAA, a married 60-year-old male or female will pay the lowest rates with most companies. Some companies charge more for male drivers in the same demographic, while others charge more for female drivers. A single 17-year-old male or female driver will pay the highest rates across the board. The prices for young drivers go down significantly at age 25, and they go down even further for married drivers.
What Factors Matter Most in Cheap Car Insurance?
Although some states count the length of your commute towards your rate, Florida does not. A rate for driving 6,000 miles per year is barely different from the rate for driving 12,000 miles per year, which is around the national average. On the other hand, credit scores can affect your rate a lot. Having good or fair credit has little impact, but having poor credit can cause your insurance rates to double. When it comes to car accidents or traffic violations, they will raise your rates, but often the amount is not significant if it's just one accident or violation. However, if you get a DUI, then your rates could go up by thousands. For example, one accident with Geico could raise your rate by about $1,000, but one DUI could increase it by nearly $3,000.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies Per Driver
The following is a list of the best companies for cheap car insurance depending on where you fall as a driver:
- Military or military family: USAA
- Teen: Geico
- Single young adult: State Farm
- Married adult: State Farm
- Good credit: State Farm
- Bad credit: State farm
- Clean record: Geico
- One speeding violation: State Farm
- One accident: Geico
Why Does Florida Have Varying Rates?
As previously mentioned, Florida is one of the more expensive states to insure a vehicle. Miami is among the most expensive in the state and one of the most expensive cities. Because of the high prices in greater Miami, the average rates for the rest of the state are unnaturally skewed. One of the reasons is car insurance fraud in Miami. However, the rest of it is simply a lot of bad driving in the city. High congestion and bad driving cause a lot of car accidents, which results in a lot of claims, which in turn causes high insurance rates.